HealthMake Room for Mushrooms!

Make Room for Mushrooms!

I am using Medicinal Mushrooms more and more in my practice (and for myself) and it seems that every day new research comes out extolling their remarkable healing properties in a huge  range of conditions from cold sores to cancer.  However, see my comment below about source and quality.* 

Mushrooms have been used in Eastern traditions for centuries, mostly in Chinese Medicine and also in Ayurveda.   Other cultures have a heritage of using mushrooms in various ways, including the use of “magic mushrooms” in certain ceremonies for their hallucinogenic properties.  In fact, one such mushroom – psilocybin – is currently the subject of research in the treatment of depression.  Mushrooms/fungi have also been the base for many Western medications (e.g. peniciliin).

There are many active compounds in mushrooms that have been identified as beneficial  including beta-glucans, phenols/polyphenols, antioxidants, sterols, terpenoids, peptides & proteins, alkaloids, polysaccharide-protein complexes, dietary fibre.  

Mushrooms and Cancer

A new international meta-analysis has reviewed the body of research into the use of medicinal mushrooms in the treatment of cancer and sought to understand the mechanisms behind their effectiveness.  The researchers state “Mushrooms are a treasure trove for a variety of bioactive compounds, among which very few are reported and many more are yet to be identified.  Mushroom extracts and bioactive compounds have shown potential anti-cancer effects against 20 different types of cancers”.  They concluded that a key action is in the mitochondria (energy source) of the cancer cells and that the mushrooms provoke apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells by cutting off their energy supply.

Other conditions

But Medicinal Mushrooms can address numerous health concerns and also to just support general good health.  Key mushrooms and their uses are:

Reishi – anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, balances mood, supports anxiety and sleep, immune system, anti-viral

Lion’s Mane – brain function, memory, neuropathies, gut function and gut:brain axis, mood, nervous system

Codyceps – energy, stamina, libido, lung health, anti-viral, physical and mental rehabilitation

Shitake – immunity, anti-bacterial, lowers cholesterol, alkalising, cardiovascular 

Maitake – pain relieving, metabolic- weight control, lowers cholesterol, blood sugar.

Beware of the source and quality!

Medicinal Mushrooms are turning up every where these days in coffee, energy bars, supplements, cakes to name but a few.  Beware, however, the quality and the source of these mushrooms.  Many are now endangered species on the verge of extinction driven by greedy and unscrupulous dealers keen to make a quick buck.  Also, are they collected from a busy roadside or industrial area and therefore polluted with heavy metals.  If specifically harvested, are insecticides or other chemicals used?  How are they processed?  What part of the mushroom are they using?  What else do they contain.

The company I use is Hifas da Terra a Spanish company (but with a UK base) who grow all their own mushrooms organically and use the purist of extracts.  Their product range is backed up by extensive research, and their practitioner education is fantastic.  Yes, their products are more expensive than a lot on the market, but I trust the quality and the efficacy.  They really work! 

My clients get a 10% discount on their products so speak to me about which might be the most effective product for you.